Crispy skin and tender, juicy chicken, Air Fryer Fried Chicken tastes JUST as good as your favorite restaurant with SO much less mess!
Fried chicken has always been one of my favorite comfort foods (right along with Salisbury steak) but I really hate making it at home. I’ve just never perfected it. That is until I tried it out in my air fryer. It is (no joke…) probably the BEST fried chicken I’ve ever eaten. You’ll never believe how crispy and how delicious Air Fryer Fried Chicken is until you try it. So, break out your air fryer and get cooking today!
Fried Chicken is one of those dishes that I am obsessed with eating, but loathe making. I’ve never been able to achieve the crispy, crunchy skin that my favorite restaurants get. Plus, I find at-home deep frying a total DISASTER… the scalding hot oil splatters everywhere, not to mention you have to use basically a full, industrial-sized bottle of oil to cook your fried chicken. It’s a pass for me, I always stuck to just getting fried chicken at restaurants. Let them deal with the mess.
Well, ALL of that changed when I learned you could make restaurant-quality fried chicken at home, MESS FREE. Enter the air fryer… my absolute favorite kitchen appliance. Air fryer fried chicken is the absolute BEST chicken I’ve ever made. It’s got crispy delicious golden brown skin and perfectly tender, juicy chicken inside.
Fried chicken in an air fryer is simple, delicious, and basically mess-free. Bye, bye pot of burning oil… hello air fryer fried chicken!
Marinade – We’re soaking the chicken in a buttermilk marinade seasoned with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, a little cayenne, black pepper, and some Frank’s hot sauce.
Coating – To bread the chicken, you’re going to need flour, cornstarch, and most of the same spices used in the marinade.
Chicken – Fried chicken comes in many forms including my family’s favorites – air fryer fried chicken thighs and air fryer fried chicken breast. You can use whichever part of the chicken you like for this recipe, including a whole bird that’s been broken down.
How to fry chicken in an air fryer
STEP ONE: Add the buttermilk, hot sauce, and spices to a medium bowl and stir that all together. Add the chicken pieces to a gallon-sized food storage bag. Pour in the marinade, seal the bag, and rub the marinade all over the chicken. Chill for 2-24 hours in the fridge.
STEP THREE: Dip the marinated chicken into the seasoned flour and then place it into the air fryer basket. Give the breaded chicken a spritz of olive oil spray for the flour is coated in oil.
STEP FOUR: Cook for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Flip the chicken over and cook for another 15 minutes at the same temperature. When the cooking time is up, the internal temp for the chicken should be 165 degrees F and the breading should be golden brown.
Tips and Tricks
- Spraying the basket of your air fryer will help prevent the chicken from sticking when it’s time to flip. Then olive oil sprayed onto the flour helps give that fried chicken crust and taste.
- You can use a whole chicken broken down or just your favorite cuts. I usually grab whatever is on sale at the store and use that.
- To reheat the fried chicken in an air fryer, let the chicken come up to room temperature on the counter. Then pop the chicken pieces into the basket and turn your air fryer to 375 degrees. Cook for about 4 miuntes flipping, once, until heated through.
Do air fryers work for fried chicken?
YES! We all know I adore my air fryer for all kinds of meals and side dishes, but it’s almost as if the air fryer was made specifically to make fried chicken!
The way air fryers work is by circulating super-hot air all around whatever is inside. Instead of scalding hot oil crisping up the skin on the chicken, buttermilk fried chicken air fryer style is crisped to perfection by the hot air.
More of my family’s favorite dinners
- Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs
- Crock Pot Pork Chops
- Sloppy Joe Casserole
- Air Fryer Pork Chops
- Turkey Meatloaf
- 2 pounds skin-on chicken pieces
- To a medium bowl, add all the marinade ingredients. Whisk to combine.
- Add the chicken to a gallon-sized food storage bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag and rub the marinade all over the chicken. Chill for 2 to 24 hours.
- Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F. Coat the basket with olive oil spray to help prevent sticking.
- In a shallow bowl, stir together the breading ingredients until evenly combined.
- Take the chicken from the refrigerator and one piece of chicken at a time, place it into the seasoned flour. Coat the chicken in flour, shake off excess, and then place in the air fryer basket in one layer without overlapping the chicken.
- Once the basket is full, spray the chicken with olive oil cooking spray until all of the flour is coated. Cook at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, flip the chicken over and cook for another 15 minutes. The chicken is done when in internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F and the breading is golden brown and crispy. Serve warm.